How to deal with backstabbers 101

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In my previous post I wrote about “My Shameless but Ethical Tactics for Quickly Rising to the Top” . In this post I’m writing about how to deal with one crucial obstacle on your way up.

Although I’m writing this, I need to give credit to the person who taught me this technique in the first place. He is an Indian Professor who has had an illustrious career within the Indian government. I.e. must I mention any further qualifications?

More often than not we, as professionals, tend to bitch. I believe we should bitch as it helps relieve stress and allows us to find colleagues on the same page. However, you need to be weary of that backstabbing idiot who had sold his soul to the devil.

There are several ways to get around these people. The first and most obvious choice is to play “Ms goody two shoes” and refrain from bitching. I feel that this will hinder your progress as your peers would think that you are a spinless whimp. The next option is to avoid social interaction altogether. That just makes you a looser!

The third way is the way forward grasshopper…The third way is what that Indian Zen master taught me.

Take a scenario when you are criticizing your boss at the bar over a few drinks with the people you think are your friends. The next morning, before you even sober up properly, your boss confronts you and says “hey asshole… Did you say this about me last night???”. The natural human reaction would be to deny and mentally workout a plan to kiss arse for a long time or to quit and look for a new job! I’m sure many of us have been there. However, according to the Zen master, you have to deflect the blow without taking it in the face grasshopper…

So when your boss confronts you you say “are you crazy? I would never say that about you…”.

Boss: “so and so was there. He told me the whole thing”. At this point you are identify the backstabber. According to G.I.Joe “knowing is half the battle”.

Here comes again the Zen master advice…

Although you are shaking in your boots, keep cool. Then say to the boss “to tell you the truth we were all a bit drunk at that time including Mr Informant. So you might have to take it with a pinch of salt”. Then continue to add… “However, I think I might have said something about how you are going about this project. That’s just my personal opinion expressed afterhours among friends in a bar. I do admit that”. After hearing this the boss would probably say “from now on, you come and tell me how you feel directly… We are a team etc. etc.” and all that people management 101 crap.

If you survive up to this point, you have already come on top in the the boss’s trustworthy list. However, according to the Zen master you should take the opportunity to strike back at that backstabber. So you say to the boss “never mind what I said … You should have heard what so and so said about you… I can’t tell you exactly because I’m no backstabber but it was quite harsh….”.

By doing so you would have converted a professionally suicidal situation into a trust building and enemy slaying victory. Behold the power of the force grasshopper…

Obviously the bar situation is only one example. This technique will prove useful for getting rid of many pesky backstabbers.

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